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9/96 Reviews HW: Visioneer PaperPort ix

Listing of September 1996 Reviews

Scanner Is Key to This Combo Unit

By Jim Forbes

Visioneer's PaperPort ix grows on you. Developed by Visioneer and licensed to Compaq, this unique peripheral combines a 104-key keyboard with an integrated 8-bit monochrome, sheet-fed scanner.

Visioneer was a pioneer of single-sheet, page-fed scanners.

PaperPort scanners have made it easy to reduce piles of paper into digital documents that can be sorted, OCRed and indexed. The PaperPort ix puts Visioneer's scanning system at your fingertips-literally.

You can connect the PaperPort ix to a serial or parallel port. The keyboard and scanner wires are sheathed into a single cable, as is the cord for the device's power supply. This arrangement minimizes cable snarls, but you may have to find a little more space for this keyboard, as the scanner adds about 2 inches to space requirements.

The PaperPort ix's scanner is very reliable, with a 400-dot-per-inch maximum optical resolution. The resolution was more than adequate for virtually all the documents and artwork I used in my tests.

It takes less than 15 minutes to fully set up the PaperPort ix from unpacking it to installing the software.

A sensor detects when you insert a sheet of paper into the PaperPort ix and automatically turns the unit on. The scanner can only handle single sheets, but they can be as long as 30 inches.

The PaperPort ix's CD-ROM-based software is this peripheral's true added value. The software bundle includes applications for document management, image enhancement, business card scanning, document copying and a variety of links that allow you to seamlessly integrate the PaperPort ix's features with other applications. A version of Xerox's OCR package, TextBridge, is also included.A unique feature is a link to Netscape Navigator, bundled with the product, that allows you to drag and drop a scanned document into an Internet e-mail message.

The PaperPort 3.5 software also has a feature called SharpPage technology, which helps improve TextBridge's OCR accuracy. You can set the software to automatically open your word processor after a document has been scanned and run through TextBridge's OCR. With FormTyper, another application, you can feed a form into the scanner and then fill out an electronic version of it.

The PaperPort software makes extensive use of drag-and-drop. At its heart is the Link Bar, where you can arrange icons for applications such as e-mail, fax, filing and OCR. To activate one of these applications, just drag the scanned document's thumbnail representation and drop it on the appropriate icon.

The PaperPort ix's blend of features is hard to beat, and its functionality is unique.

--Info File--
Visioneer PaperPort ix
Pros: Ease of use; accepts varied input
Cons: Monochrome only
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x, NT
800-787-7007, 415-812-6400
WinMag Box Score: 4.0

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